Saturday, April 12, 2014

Author Study Projects

We just wrapped up one of our VERY favorite units of study....our Author Studies Bonanza!  We LOVE this unit for a million reasons.  We get to pick great books by some of our favorite authors, our kiddos will sit completely still and silent for ANY story time we do, they get to be extremely creative and crafty when creating their culminating learning celebration projects, and the parents LOVE to see the plays and puppet shows!
So here's how it works in our rooms.  We choose 2 or 3 authors to study.  Sometimes we pick ones we love, or we may pick ones that we can tell have quickly become the kiddos' favorite.  This year we chose Robert Munsch and Mo Willems.  I personally am in LOVE with both of these authors and the books crack me up!

We read TONS of books both out loud and on Tumblebooks.  We complete all kinds of great literacy activities like story maps, Venn diagrams, character trait studies, text to self activity sheets, and more.  We mix it up to keep the kiddos interested.

Then after several weeks of studying these books, we do a Mini-Project on The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch.  The kiddos work in groups of 3 and they choose to either present the story in a Puppet Show or Play.  We spend some time completing a story map for the book and then they have 2 days to create their puppets or costumes.  We let them go crazy in the art center and use WHATEVER materials they want.  The room looks like something blew up in there for a day or two...but it's all in the name of learning!

We then present our "trial run"plays and puppet shows to each other.  Once they get how this whole thing works, we move on to the REAL projects!  Again they may work in groups to perform one of the author study books as either a PUPPET SHOW or a PLAY.  They work with this group over the course of 1 week to complete the story map, design costumes/puppets, practice the performance, and tie up any loose ends.

Then we have the families in and CELEBRATE!

And the best part is, while we are having so stinkin' much fun working on all of these projects...we have covered a TON of language arts standards and had FUN doing it!!!  You can't beat that can't beat that!!!

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